Other Language Translations: How good are they?

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Other Language Translations: How good are they?

Postby SandChigger » 27 Jun 2008 20:58

I seem to remember posting something about the Japanese translation of Dune over on Dune Novels, but won't be able to retrieve it until Monday (home IP still blocked and all that :roll: ).

I've been looking at the translation of the opening epigraph from a Russian version I found online (in connection with the Galach Project ;) ) and while my Russian is still at the read-with-dictionary-and-grammar-close-by level, it looks extremely free (so free that I'm going to consider it BAD).

Has anyone read a Russian version? How was it?

Expanding, those of you who have read Dune in another language (esp. your native one) in addition to the original in English, how do they compare?


(Afterthought: please include translator name(s) and publisher if info is handy! ;) )
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Omphalos » 27 Jun 2008 21:52

I found tons of different copies of Dune in Russian every time I was there in the 90's. I don't read Russian, but friends told me that there are gobs of bootleg copies floating around, and none are good.

You should PM Ragabash. I bought him two books the last time I was there (he speaks Russian); The Godfather and Dune. He can tell you what it was like, though I'm sure the one I got was bootleg. I think I got it for him in '92, in case he needs a memory aid, and I'm sure his ex made off with both of them.

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Postby SandChigger » 27 Jun 2008 22:02

OK.

He probably can't recall the first chapter epigraph from memory, though, can he? ;)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Phaedrus » 27 Jun 2008 22:40

I own a French version of one of the three parts of Dune(a friend brought it back for me from France, along with English copies of the Godmakers and the Heavenmakers), but as I don't know any French, I can't read it for comparison. If I could, I'd tell you about it. If I find it(not for a month or so), I'll post some passages for the perusal of French speakers...assuming that's OK with Freak, considering the language rule.

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Postby Omphalos » 28 Jun 2008 03:35

SandChigger wrote:OK.

He probably can't recall the first chapter epigraph from memory, though, can he? ;)


I would guess not. I gave him an Ace hardback for his birthday last year, and he was very gracious and thankful, but his eyes said, "oh, this again?"

Send a PM though. He might still have it. Ill tell him to check this thread when I see him tomorrow morning when I go into Japantown for my haircut. He lives right there.

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Postby orald » 28 Jun 2008 05:18

I have all the six but for DM in Hebrew.

Dune, HoD and Ch:D are by translator Imanuel Lotem(sp?), a well known and celebrated translator here, and are probably as good as the original versions.
Dune, HoD, CH:D.

Interesting to note is that while I have a '93 print of CH:D, '96 of Dune and '97 of HoD, the back-cover summary of HoD notes that FH died in Hawaii in '86, and that the next book in the series(CH:D) will come out soon by the publishing house(it's the same for all six of them BTW, probably for the New Dung too)...looks like someone forgot to update the summary or something.
Also, you can see by the cover design(CH:D's absent from the site for some reason :? ) that 1+6 are a part of the same, uh, publishing(?), and HoD has a different(more modern?) look to its cover.
Wierd shit going on here.

Not sure who did DM, I think the Lotem did it too, but I can't say.
Cover(and even the summary! what a shitty site they have, and they're probably the biggest publisher we have...also, they've got a nice, if modest, villa, the bastards. the daughter[?] is a Tolkien fan and we once had a gathering near her villa, located near others...one was a bloody mansion surrounded with walls and guards) seems to have been forgotten here as well, though I recall it showing two blue-in-blue eyes looking ahead from behind a reddish mushroom cloud.
DM

CoD and GEoD were translated by some shitty bitch called Dorit Landes(sp?) who is, again, shitty.
CoD, GEoD.

You know I can't explain myself well in terms of translations and such, but basically I think the vocabulary is lacking, maybe dumbed down, IDK.
There are also some few typos in GEoD(maybe CoD as well) that annoyed me because I didn't find such in the other books.

Seems like the bitch got ahead and at least the Legends series(of which I have two at home *shudder* when I get a good digital camera I might actually film their burning) are edited by her, and translated by some shmuck called Li'or Ben-Dov. Do P&B also use slang in their books? :shock:



While looking at the links I found some, uh, readers(if the bloody bastards can even read, which I doubt with these comments) comments...My own comments and clarifications are in brackets.
Here's a translation:

(Of Dune)
Headline: I broke out in the middle.
Body: I didn't like the style. Also, it's appearant the author didn't know much about science and physics compared to other authors- and it shows.
Personally I get more into books by (Stanislav)Lem and Asimov. (Motherfucking twit :x )

(Of GEoD)
(Basically he compares his reaction to the book to some character from a popular-with-the-commons low-grade political satire show here saying "I'm disapointed", explaining that while the book reads well, the plot is "lame"(as in limping), stops oddly and doesn't "flow".
"Could've been written better" -well, ain't that what the Hacks are all about? :roll: ).
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

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Postby Serkanner » 28 Jun 2008 07:33

I have taken a look at the opening paragraph of the Dutch translation written in 1974 and still used in the contemporary editions and it is spot on. The translation is actually so good I am amazed I haven't noticed that before. However, it was the Dutch translation that lured me into Dune when I was 13 or 14 and couldn't read English very well yet.

I will make a comparison of the others as well.
"... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

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and wrote a Dune Novel."

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Postby SandChigger » 28 Jun 2008 20:24

Phaedrus wrote:assuming that's OK with Freak, considering the language rule.

My interpretation of that is "No posts solely in a foreign language". If the topic is language and the text of the books, there shouldn't be a problem, no?

^^^ Subject to confirmation by Freak, of course. ;)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Freakzilla » 28 Jun 2008 20:53

SandChigger wrote:
Phaedrus wrote:assuming that's OK with Freak, considering the language rule.

My interpretation of that is "No posts solely in a foreign language". If the topic is language and the text of the books, there shouldn't be a problem, no?

^^^ Subject to confirmation by Freak, of course. ;)


No problem.

I just don't want people conversing in languages I don't speak, for moderating purposes (officially). If any of the other admins/moderators are multi-lingual and want to take responsibility for particular languages, they can let me know and I will make an exception for those languages.

It's not that I intend to censor any posts, I just like to know what's being said on my forum.
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Postby SandChigger » 28 Jun 2008 21:04

That's what I thought. :)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Lisan Al-Gaib » 29 Jun 2008 02:41

The Brazilian edition of Dune was translated by the guy who gave Arthur C. Clarke the idea to made the sequel of 2001. His name is Jorge Calife.
Until now I only read Dune in portuguese, but I plan to buy it in english.

I alway thought that the calife's translation was good, but time ago I discovery some mistake when I was comparing some parts of it with the original version and discussing it with the brazilian fans.

For example:
In the litany agaisnt fear the passage "I will let the fear pass over me" in the portuguese translation the meaning was changed to "I won't let...".

In the apendix, when says that eighty million died during epoch of the writing of the Orange Bible, in our translation says "eighteen million...". That change all the math to find the inicial number of worlds in the Old Empire...

These are the mistakes that I find.

I think the first mistake isn't from him, but from his editor. Calife is a great fan of Dune, he translate all the first five cannons, and he is a sci-fi writer too, so I think he wouldn't made such horrible change. And in one interview Calife said that some times the editors makes some changes in the translations to fit with what their interpretation.

The second one I think that was purely attetion fault.

forgetting these mistakes, I think his translation writing and his attetion with the terms very good. He make a homogeneous translation during the series and conserved the same translation for the Dune terms.

Finally, this year, we are expecting a new edition of Dune, as the publishers promiss to us. Maybe they are waiting for the movie confirmation.
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Postby orald » 29 Jun 2008 04:00

Quick, Chig, lets make a bunch of Japanese fart jokes about Freak! :P
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Postby Phaedrus » 29 Jun 2008 04:35

Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:
Phaedrus wrote:assuming that's OK with Freak, considering the language rule.

My interpretation of that is "No posts solely in a foreign language". If the topic is language and the text of the books, there shouldn't be a problem, no?

^^^ Subject to confirmation by Freak, of course. ;)


No problem.

I just don't want people conversing in languages I don't speak, for moderating purposes (officially). If any of the other admins/moderators are multi-lingual and want to take responsibility for particular languages, they can let me know and I will make an exception for those languages.

It's not that I intend to censor any posts, I just like to know what's being said on my forum.


Mkay. Whenever I get settled into an apartment and unpack my books, I'll pull out Frenchy Dune and put up some passages.

Does anyone here even know French?

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Postby SandChigger » 29 Jun 2008 09:36

I know enough to torture French people with! :D


(Orald...never mind.)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby orald » 29 Jun 2008 15:03

Phaedrus wrote:Does anyone here even know French?

Beats me, I surrender. :twisted:
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I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby trang » 01 Jul 2008 14:18

I only speak english, other languages just bounce off my head, havent been able to get anything to go in. So as I cant contribute anything to the discussion in the department of translation accuracy I'LL throw out a idea see what ya think.

I wonder if it would be possible to translate Dune into some obscure nonreality languages? Say:

Klingon?
Tolkiens Elven?

I mean this in a respectful way, I dont know if these two have been developed out enough to provide the grammer for the complex ideas in
Dune.

I think it would be interesting visually to see it written in one of them, especially Elven.

Just a thought,
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Postby Serkanner » 01 Jul 2008 14:57

I would rather see Dune translated into Galach or Chakobsa.
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and wrote a Dune Novel."

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Postby orald » 01 Jul 2008 16:33

Maybe Klingon, but I can definately say that Quenya and Sindarin(sp?)(i.e "Tolkien's Elven") are too thin for it. They basically only have a vocabulary of a few hundred words/names at best, not counting fan-made extrapolations that aren't always correct.
Or at least that's what the Quenya wiz's here always bitched about.
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Postby Lisan Al-Gaib » 01 Jul 2008 16:49

I'd like to see Dune translated to Arabic. That would give the book more "Desert style".

Obsviously I wouldn't know how to read it.
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Postby Freakzilla » 01 Jul 2008 17:09

Ebonics

I is da Kwisatz Haderach

or

I be da Kwisatz Haderach

???
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Postby orald » 01 Jul 2008 17:15

Arabic sucks. :x


And shut up, Chig, Hebrew has nothing to do with Arabic whatsoever. :P
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 01 Jul 2008 17:23

orald wrote:Arabic sucks. :x


And shut up, Chig, Hebrew has nothing to do with Arabic whatsoever. :P


Arabic kicks Hebrew's ass.
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Postby SandChigger » 01 Jul 2008 18:33

orald wrote:And shut up, Chig, Hebrew has nothing to do with Arabic whatsoever. :P

Whatever.

Trang...you're so bizarre sometimes. (That's a Good Thing, by the way.) :D

I can't really see the point of a Klingon or Elvish version. (Wouldn't the first have a definite KJA "Oh shit, what universe am I hiking in again? Trek, Wars, Files, Dune, Marvel? Oh, screw it, the idiots won't notice anyway!" bleed-thru/crossover feel to it?)

Galach...now there's an idear.... :wink:
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby SandChigger » 01 Jul 2008 18:37

Double post!

By the way, I went over to Ksander's site (Dune - Russkiy Resurs/Arrakis.ru) and found a much better translation of the first epigraph.

They have excerpts of Russian versions of a lot of the books. (Some of which are their own translations, it seems. Kinda like those French guys translating the Encyclopedia.)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby waff » 02 Jul 2008 23:49

Freakzilla wrote:Ebonics

I is da Kwisatz Haderach

or

I be da Kwisatz Haderach

???


Lolspeak Dune:

I be da Kwisatz Ceiling Cat, kthanxbai!


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